Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tap, tap, tap

I attended a seminar with master Rigan Machado where he shared the history behind Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. With every technique he explained the person who introduced it and the event where they dominated opponents all the way to the championship. Unlike other martial arts who have also been around for centuries, BJJ continues to evolve due to active competitors that introduce new techniques and counters.
A few months later I had the pleasure of attending a seminar lead by Ryron Gracie who focused on facing our fear while training. He said "if you are afraid to get tapped when you spar, then you will never get better". He said for most people tapping, or surrendering to your opponent, is a sign of weakness because they are afraid that if others see you tap that you aren't any good at grappling.
As my Shihan Johnny tells us during every class, tapping just means you got caught and you will get caught hundreds of times, its all a learning process
Professor Gracie encouraged us to take risks and intentionally make "mistakes":
"...when you roll allow your opponent you in a triangle and practice escaping. The more you allow yourself to get caught, the more you will understand what it takes to get yourself out of trouble."
He told us that one should experiment a little in those positions; shift ones weight around; grab onto something; move ones hips slightly; and that will eventually one will learn to become comfortable and I guarantee you that you will be the best escape artist. Do not be afraid to tap, nobody really cares! No one will make fun of you or think your are terrible at this!

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